Vikings roll to third consecutive district title

Published 7:55 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

Niles’ Sean Craig puts the Vikings ahead for good against Lakeshore in the Division 2 District Tournament Wednesday night. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

Niles’ Sean Craig puts the Vikings ahead for good against Lakeshore in the Division 2 District Tournament Wednesday night. (Leader photo/RON HARNER)

There was little double about the No. 4-ranked Niles wrestling team winning its third consecutive team district championship.

The only question was what would be the final scores against Big 16 West Division foes Lakeshore and St. Joseph.

The Vikings easily dispatched the Lancers and Bears to advance to the Division 2 Regional semifinals next Wednesday at Battle Creek Harper Creek.

Niles toppled arch rival Lakeshore 41-21 and then bulldozed St. Joseph 70-9 to take its first step toward returning to Battle Creek for the state finals.

Veteran coach Todd Hesson was pleased with the win, but said there is still a lot of work to do before his team can attain their goals.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking at because this is just one more step. You don’t ever want to take anything for granted. We’re looking at the individual districts (Saturday at Vicksburg) and then the team regional, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We won some matches, but a few could have gone either way. I just think there are times when we do some of the fundamental things wrong. We’ve got to get better at that.”

Niles trailed only once all night as Lakeshore led 13-12, but a technical fall by Sean Craig at 171-pounds over Jaylan Green (19-4) gave the Vikings to lead for good.

In the finals, Niles received four forfeits from St. Joseph and recorded six pins.

Picking up two pins Wednesday night were Josh Dayhuff, Darek Bullock-Mills and Cody Thornton.

Niles will face the winner of the Mattawan district, which will be decided tonight in the regional semifinals, which will begin at 6 p.m.


Division 2 Wrestling

At Niles

Championship Match

St. Joseph — 9

Niles — 70

103: Andrew Flick (N) won by forfeit; 112: Brendon Meek (N) p. Austin Hodder 5:23; 119: Josh Dayhuff (N) p. Raul Cuellar 2:19; 125: Mitch Findeisen (N) p. Joe St. Amand 1:25; 130: Darek Bullock-Mills (N) p. Jacob Kelly 5:23; 135: Noah Hall (N) d. Carter Hall 10-0; 140: Warren Smith (N) won by forfeit; 145: Quintin Smith (N) p. Zach Borgenson 3:46; 152: Connor Myers (SJ) p. Fred Kemp :55; 160: Sean Akins (SJ) d. Chris Frantz 8-6 (OT); 171: Lane Wells (N) p. Sukhbir Singh (SJ) 1:47; 189: Cody Thornton (N) p. Nathan Griesbaum 1:41; 215: Wyatt Thornton (N) won by forfeit; 285: Alex Bata (N) won by forfeit



Lakeshore — 21

Niles — 41

103: Andrew Flick (N) p. Austin Defries 3:01; 112: Brandon Arend (L) d. Cade Stephenson 5-0; 119: Josh Dayhuff (N) p. Nathan Weber 3:36; 125: Patrick Blommel (L) t.f. over Justin Jones 17-1; 130: Darek Bullock-Mills (N) p. Nathan Seawood 2:37; 135: Noah Hall (N) d. Robert Dente 4-0; 140: Noah Hanau (L) d. Warren Smith 9-1; 145: Quintin Smith (N) d. Kyle Lindley 3-2; 152: Dustin Clapp (L) d. Fred Kemp 5-2; 160: Gunner Harrison (L) p. Chris Frantz 4:34; 171: Sean Craig (N) t.f. over Jaylan Green 19-4; 189: Cody Thornton (N) p. Kain Blair :36; 215: Wyatt Thornton (N) d. Isaac Weir 13-6; 285: Ted Jackowiak (N) d. Bryce Robinson 8-5